Did you know that research has demonstrated just 20 minutes of exercise has the ability to alter our genes for the better — a sort of genetic reprogramming that can lead to increased endurance and muscle strength. What’s more, there are plenty of efficient exercise options that help you torch calories and lose weight in that short period of time. The key is to be purposeful about the exercises you choose so even a quick workout will elicit big results.
Bodyweight Squats: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your arms out straight in front of your body. Keep your spine neutral and core braced as you slowly lower your backside down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. If you feel good, you can drop a bit more with your hips so your bottom drops lower than your knees. Press through your feet to stand back up, and repeat.
Jumping Jacks: Stand with your legs straight, feet together and hands down at your sides. In a single motion, hop your feet outward and your arms above your head, keeping both legs and arms straight. Then reverse course by bringing your hands and feet back to their original positions.
Pushups: Put your hands on the ground a little wider than shoulder-width with your arms straight, supporting your upper body. Extend your feet back and balance on your toes, making a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Bend your arms and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground, and then press through the floor back up to the starting position. If you have trouble maintaining proper form, drop to your knees to perform the exercise.
Lunges: Stand with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until both knees form 90-degree angles. Press through your feet and bring your body back up to the starting position, and alternate legs.
Repeat the below sequence a total of four times. One round is 5 minutes, so the full workout will be 20 minutes.
Originally published March 2016, MyFitnessPal
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